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Changes are happening at Brick Street Center

Posted by: tdt -


Changes are happening at Brick Street Center

The building at 610 Denrock Avenue opened 34 years ago as the Dalhart Senior Citizens Center. A year ago, the name was changed to Brick Street Community Center, and a large-scale renovation project was launched. Today, more changes are in store as the center searches for a new Executive Director to lead the center into the future.

Joyce Bezner said she made the “tough decision” to resign as director of the Brick Street Community Center for two reasons. “I am exhausted from doing two jobs and am not able to give either 100 percent of all of my energy. I am also a fundraising consultant to the Dallam-Hartley Counties Healthcare Foundation within the DHC Hospital District. It is time that I focus more time and energy on raising funds for a new nursing home, that Dalhart desperately needs.”

Bezner has been director of the center since January 2022. In January 2023, the center’s board of directors announced that the venue would now be open to all community members, not just senior citizens.

“Brick Street has a great board of directors who spent six months of 2022 researching and strategizing how to make the center sustainable,” Bezner said. “The previous model didn’t match the current needs. For years Dalhart has needed a medium-sized rental venue. The offerings (now available) can accommodate small gather-ings or the next choice is the coliseum, where you can seat hundreds. We plan for our banquet room to seat near 100 at round tables, which includes space for a bride’s table. Our renovated chapel seats 92. Brick Street will be the premier venue for small to mediumsized weddings and receptions.”

“I know I can speak for the entire Board, we are so excited about the future of Brick Street Community Center,” said Carol Reynolds, board president. “As we transition from senior center to community center, we will always love-on our seniors. However, the Center is open to all ages for meals and activities. We have changes coming to improve our Monday through Friday lunch menus. Our remodeling will be complete during the summer, and we will begin renting space for weddings, receptions, corporate trainings, nonprofit organization meetings, etc. For rental information you can phone 806-244-8521. You will be pleased with the transformation of the building.”

Bezner detailed some of the work that has already been completed. “The new upstairs meeting room is completed and includes the newest wireless technology with a 96-inch smart TV,” she said. “This technology will be helpful for corporate training, continuing education classes, etc. Already using the room are Rotary Club, AA and NA meetings. We offer all nonprofit organizations free use of the meeting rooms and discounted banquet costs.

“The fitness room/ blood drive room has fresh paint and continues to be in use. One-hour exercise classes meet Monday through Friday at 10”30 a.m. and at 5:15 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday.” Blood drives are scheduled on Wednesday afternoons from noon to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 7, Apr. 3, June 5, Oct. 2 and Dec. 4.

Bezner said the center has been able to save a significant amount of money on renovation labor through using the Honor Guard from the Dalhart Unit of Texas Department of Corrections and Justice. “Thanks to the philosophy of Warden Tim Hooper, which is to prepare the men to live on the outside once they are released, we’re able to get skilled labor – painters, construction workers, electricians – to assist on the work. I estimate that we’ve saved approximately $50,000 on labor,” she said. “We’re also using local vendors when we purchase items. The entire transformation has been lots of fun!”

The center is also striving to improve its lunch program. Amarillo chef/consultant Bud Anderson is working with them on menus and food costs, Bezner said. A daily lunch special is served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for only $10, with dine-in and carry-out available. Weekly menus are published in Saturday editions of The Dalhart Texan.

Not everything is changing at Brick Street, though. The Monday Coffee Group continues to meet at 9:00 a.m. each Monday. The Handwork/ Sewing Group meets Mondays at 6:00 p.m. to share their talents in sewing, weaving, needlepoint, quilting, crochet and more.

Ladies play cards at 1:00 p.m. Fridays. The Book Club will continue to meet at 10:30 a.m. each third Tuesday of the month to review the month’s book and share fellowship. The board of directors is currently accepting applications for the director position and will begin interviewing candidates soon. Bezner said she plans to stay through the remodeling process, which she hopes will be complete by summer.

“I look forward to orienting a new director who has new ideas, better technology skills and new energy to make the Brick Street Community Center a fun place for everyone to come to,” she said. “I’m not going away. My daddy was one of the founders here; I see his name on documents from time to time. I’ll continue to be involved as a volunteer and, certainly, as a customer!”

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